IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Knowledge and Performance in Knowledge-Worker Teams: A Longitudinal Study of Transactive Memory Systems


  • Kyle Lewis

    () (Department of Management, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, B6300, Austin, Texas 78712)


This study examined how transactive memory systems (TMSs) emerge and develop to affect the performance of knowledge-worker teams. Sixty-four MBA consulting teams (261 members) participated in the study. I proposed that the role and function of TMSs change to meet different task and knowledge demands during a project. Hypotheses predicting that TMSs emerge during a project-planning phase as a function of a team's initial conditions, and later develop and mature as a function of the nature and frequency of communication were generally supported, as were hypothesized relationships between TMSs and team performance and viability. Findings suggest that teams with initially distributed expertise and familiar members are more likely to develop a TMS. Frequent face-to-face communication also led to TMS emergence, but communication via other means had no effect. Teams with more established TMSs later benefited from face-to-face communication, but they were less helped by frequent communication via other means, suggesting that transactive retrieval processes may have been triggered during face-to-face communication and suppressed during other types of communication. TMSs were positively related to team viability and team performance, suggesting that developing a TMS is critical to the effectiveness of knowledge-worker teams.

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle Lewis, 2004. "Knowledge and Performance in Knowledge-Worker Teams: A Longitudinal Study of Transactive Memory Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1519-1533, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:11:p:1519-1533

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard L. Daft & Robert H. Lengel, 1986. "Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 554-571, May.
    2. Samer Faraj & Lee Sproull, 2000. "Coordinating Expertise in Software Development Teams," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(12), pages 1554-1568, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Aramovich, Nicholas P. & Larson, James R., 2013. "Strategic demonstration of problem solutions by groups: The effects of member preferences, confidence, and learning goals," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 36-52.
    2. Lewis, Kyle & Belliveau, Maura & Herndon, Benjamin & Keller, Joshua, 2007. "Group cognition, membership change, and performance: Investigating the benefits and detriments of collective knowledge," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 159-178, July.
    3. Al-Nakib Noofal Ahmed Mohsen Mohammed & Wang Hu, 2015. "Using Management Information Systems (MIS) to Boost Corporate Performance," International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration, Inovatus Services Ltd., vol. 1(11), pages 55-61, October.
    4. Liao, Jenny & O'Brien, Anne T. & Jimmieson, Nerina L. & Restubog, Simon Lloyd D., 2015. "Predicting transactive memory system in multidisciplinary teams: The interplay between team and professional identities," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 965-977.
    5. Pearsall, Matthew J. & Ellis, Aleksander P.J. & Stein, Jordan H., 2009. "Coping with challenge and hindrance stressors in teams: Behavioral, cognitive, and affective outcomes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 18-28, May.
    6. Markus C. Becker, 2012. "Distributed Knowledge and its Coordination," Chapters,in: Handbook of Knowledge and Economics, chapter 20 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. repec:eee:jobhdp:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:62-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Bojan Obrenovic & Slobodan Obrenovic & Akmal Hudaykulov, 2015. "The value of knowledge sharing: impact of tacit and explicit knowledge sharing on team performance of scientists," International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration, Inovatus Services Ltd., vol. 1(2), pages 33-52, January.
    9. Manlio Del Giudice & Maria Della Peruta & Vincenzo Maggioni, 2013. "The ‘Right’ Knowledge and Spin-off Processes: an Empirical Analysis on Knowledge Transfer," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 4(3), pages 304-318, September.

    More about this item


    knowledge-worker teams; transactive memory;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:11:p:1519-1533. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.